News 12 May 2010

WSBK: Vermeulen and Parkes continue search for speed

Parkes in action at Monza last weekend.

Parkes in action at Monza last weekend.

Australians Chris Vermeulen and Broc Parkes will again be vying for better results as the Superbike World Championship reaches the Kyalami round in South Africa this weekend, the pair struggling with equipment and injury woes so far in 2010.

Vermeulen last raced at Kyalami in his Supersport days, and is therefore on an early mission to reacquaint himself with the spectator-friendly circuit.

Still continuing his recuperation from a serious injury to his right knee suffered in Australia in February, Vermeulen has been riding through the pain barrier in his wish to get back to competitiveness at the earliest opportunity.

“After my return at Assen I was determined to make up some ground but unfortunately my knee is still not 100 percent and I found it more difficult in Monza than I would have liked,” Vermeulen said. “I’m continuing to work hard on rehabilitation and physiotherapy and I am certain that the more I ride, the more movement I will get back in the knee.

“I have high expectations of myself but I have to be patient and work away at getting back to the platform where I think we are at. I have raced in Kyalami before in World Supersport but I can honestly say that I don’t have much of a memory of being there! I will more or less treat this as a new track and hope that I can bounce back to consistent point scoring finishes.”

For ECHO CRS Honda’s Parkes, Kyalami will be another chance to find an ideal set-up on his Superbike, having encountered chatter that slowed his progress at last weekend’s race. Parkes missed the first three races of the year through an injury picked up in training, but he is all out to continue scoring points for his privateer team from this weekend on.

“Monza was hard because we did not get the chance to develop our set-up the way we wanted,” Parkes said. “Hopefully in Kyalami we will make another step again but we will make most steps when we can go somewhere to test and see exactly what is and isn’t working. But I’m sure we can go to Kyalami and be better again anyway.”

Alstare Suzuki’s Leon Haslam maintains a slim lead over Monza double winner Max Biaggi, the pair standing out as the main championship contenders early in the season.